Contrary to the claim of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) that then new Minimum Standard for Trucks in the port is gaining acceptability and producing positive results, a critical stakeholder in the trucking business has said the scheme is just a mirage.
According to Alhaji Mohammed Jibrin, the Managing Director of MIGFO Group, a haulage and Bonded terminal operator, the minimum standard is a far cry from what it is intended to achieve as he added that the security operatives at port entrance has frustrated the scheme which he said was supposed to bring sanity to the system.
Alhaji Jibrin alleged that some of the trucks that do not possess the required standard still make their ways into the port while the ones that meet the requirements are left to suffer on the queue.
He said, “Actually they are not complying with that minimum standard by NPA. If they are complying, then the NPA won’t have allowed the rickety ones to go in. You can see every truck go in, every truck including those that have no rear lights. There is nothing to indicate that the trailers going in are actually trailers but they are still entering the port.
“You will see some without head lights yet they are still entering the port. Some of them have no spare tyre; they can take a wrong tyre just to demonstrate that they have spare tyres. All these things coupled with corruption out there among all those people at the gate; you must see them before they will allow you your trucks in.”
Speaking further, he said that the standard for the trucks that will enter into the port was supposed to include having complete tyre, fire extinguisher, helmet for the drivers, reflective jackets among others but some of the trucks that entered the port did not have all the aforementioned.
Asked what he has done about this, he said, “What will you do? They will see you coming, the next thing, they don’t even ask you what you are there for; they will just tell you to turn your truck and go back. If you meet their requirements, they allow your truck in but if not, they will turn your truck back.”
According to him, before a truck is allowed into the terminal, he has to grease the palm of the security agents at the gate failure which will lead to turning your truck away from entering the port.